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Summary of the general problems with atheism

Benshapiro
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11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of

(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.

(10) We have reason to believe that we have the capacity for true beliefs even though we actually have no reason for that to be true.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect

(12) specified and complex information can be the product of mindless processes

(13) how something works is an explanation of why it exists

(14) absence of evidence is evidence of absence
bulproof
Posts: 25,238
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11/30/2015 2:34:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Theists supply all the evidence needed for a disbelief in the gods they claim, ie nothing.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,110
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11/30/2015 3:51:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

Atheism is not, by default, a belief, and atheist are not limited to subjectivity.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

Atheism demands no such view.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.

Purpose does not necessarily come from origin.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of

eh?

(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.

Same as #3.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.

Same as #2.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.

Speculation.

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics

And?

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.

IF by "illusory" you mean "subjective conclusions" then I would agree, and that is not a problem of atheism.

(10) We have reason to believe that we have the capacity for true beliefs even though we actually have no reason for that to be true.

Genetic fallacy.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect

?

(12) specified and complex information can be the product of mindless processes

What is the problem here?

(13) how something works is an explanation of why it exists

Same as #3.

(14) absence of evidence is evidence of absence

What is the problem here?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
POPOO5560
Posts: 2,487
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11/30/2015 3:54:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
3 - "So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose."

xD
Never fart near dog
POPOO5560
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11/30/2015 3:56:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:34:10 AM, bulproof wrote:
Theists supply all the evidence needed for a disbelief in the gods they claim, ie nothing.

bulproof sorry to tell u but your brain has no purpose haleloya!
Never fart near dog
Benshapiro
Posts: 3,966
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11/30/2015 4:02:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 3:51:39 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

Atheism is not, by default, a belief, and atheist are not limited to subjectivity.

That's why I specified "as a belief" since it isn't necessarily.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

Atheism demands no such view.

It is necessarily true if atheism is true.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.

Purpose does not necessarily come from origin.

Inherent purpose does.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of

eh?

Reality is defined according to our perceptions and conception of it. Perceiving and conceiving is a mental process. If reality pre-existed mental states then the true nature of reality is not mental.

(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.

Same as #3.

In a subjective sense? Not necessarily. In an objective sense? Necessarily.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.

Same as #2.

It is necessarily true if atheism is true.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.

Speculation.

What's wrong with it?

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics

And

We'd be as morally accountable as a puppet.

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.

IF by "illusory" you mean "subjective conclusions" then I would agree, and that is not a problem of atheism.

The problem is in assuming a wave of evidence must be false.

(10) We have reason to believe that we have the capacity for true beliefs even though we actually have no reason for that to be true.

Genetic fallacy.

This is an ancient critism of atheism, it's not fallacious.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect

?

Actual imperfection requires that objective ideals exist.

(12) specified and complex information can be the product of mindless processes

What is the problem here?

No evidence so supporting it.

(13) how something works is an explanation of why it exists

Same as #3.

I don't see what #3 has anything to do with this.

(14) absence of evidence is evidence of absence

What is the problem here?

It's an unjustified position to believe that something doesn't exist due to lack of evidence.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,110
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11/30/2015 5:40:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 4:02:48 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
At 11/30/2015 3:51:39 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

Atheism is not, by default, a belief, and atheist are not limited to subjectivity.

That's why I specified "as a belief" since it isn't necessarily.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

Atheism demands no such view.

It is necessarily true if atheism is true.

Only if we're using your version of theism and assume atheism is the opposite. That is not atheism.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.

Purpose does not necessarily come from origin.

Inherent purpose does.

...and it bothers you that your weren't built for a specific purpose like a robot? I don't see that as I problem.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of

eh?

Reality is defined according to our perceptions and conception of it. Perceiving and conceiving is a mental process. If reality pre-existed mental states then the true nature of reality is not mental.

Okay, reality is not dependent on consciousness. Why is this a problem?

(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.

Same as #3.

In a subjective sense? Not necessarily. In an objective sense? Necessarily.

Life is scary as a non-robot, eh? ;-) Plus, your version of "objectivity" (dependent on the opinions of a super being) is spurious.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.

Same as #2.

It is necessarily true if atheism is true.

Only if we're using your version of theism and assume atheism is the opposite. Atheism is not necessarily the opposite of theism.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.

Speculation.

What's wrong with it?

Reason without evidence is like using a shotgun while blindfolded. You might hit the target, but it could only be accidentally.

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics

And

We'd be as morally accountable as a puppet.

Physics might describe how nature works, but it does not determine what our actions should be.

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.

IF by "illusory" you mean "subjective conclusions" then I would agree, and that is not a problem of atheism.

The problem is in assuming a wave of evidence must be false.

The problem is you assume your conclusions are "evidence".

(10) We have reason to believe that we have the capacity for true beliefs even though we actually have no reason for that to be true.

Genetic fallacy.

This is an ancient critism of atheism, it's not fallacious.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect

?

Actual imperfection requires that objective ideals exist.

Objectivity is not limited to theism.

(12) specified and complex information can be the product of mindless processes

What is the problem here?

No evidence so supporting it.

Nor is there any evidence of such coming from a mind beyond existence.

(13) how something works is an explanation of why it exists

Same as #3.

I don't see what #3 has anything to do with this.

(14) absence of evidence is evidence of absence

What is the problem here?

It's an unjustified position to believe that something doesn't exist due to lack of evidence.

As mentioned before, atheism by default is not a belief, otherwise you're correct. Alternatively, believing something exists without evidence is just as unjustified.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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11/30/2015 7:24:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

Oh is this the old there is no morality unless the God I believe in exists ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
bulproof
Posts: 25,238
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11/30/2015 10:01:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 4:02:48 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
It's an unjustified position to believe that something doesn't exist due to lack of evidence.
Hence you have no problem believing the invisible dragon in Dan's garage really does exist. Good for you.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Chaosism
Posts: 2,663
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11/30/2015 4:58:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.

Propositions do not objectively exist, so their comparisons with the knowledge that we've gained from observations of the universe also do not objectively exist. The designation of truth is subjective, either way. I'm not understanding how this is exclusive to atheistic belief.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.

Objectively, I do not believe so. Hence, I fit the criteria of a moral nihilist. However, I do hold value in the subjective judgments of myself and others.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.

Objectively, I agree. Hence, I fit the criteria of an existential nihilist. Purpose is a preferred concept and means of descriptions because that is how we operate as sentient beings. Describing natural things with such language is natural to us because it is easier to understand it in those terms. We constantly engage in the anthropomorphism of the universe.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of

You are citing the subjective-objective dichotomy, right? While it is true that we cannot directly experience reality, our perceptions appear to be derived from *some* objective form of reality, based on the constant, independently verified evidence based upon our differing senses, and with the reported and observed experiences of others. To say that our experience is "entirely illusionary" is a statement of solipsism, which is unfalsifiable.

(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.

In the overall perspective of things, this is true regardless, unless some evil entity will cast you into eternal torment. Aside from that, the tiny spark of existence we experience (life) is ultimately meaningless in the scope of eternity. This does not devaluate our own experiences in the time being. I, in recognizing the ultimate futility of it all, will continue to strive to make the world a better place for those who live now and for those who will live in the future.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.

How exactly do you mean, "better than"? Traits that benefit one's survival and happiness, of that of others, are better if one values survival and happiness.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.

Probabilities are not accurate means of accounting for events that have already occurred. For instance, the probability of these exact atoms that make up my left shoe being combined together in this configuration at this precise moment in time is incomprehensibly improbable. Yet, here they are. In any case, I don't see how inexplicable is a problem; that is an appeal to ignorance. And if something eternal did exist, why couldn't it be physical (matter/energy)?

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics

I would disagree with free will even if I was a theist. But, since free will is an experience that can only be foiled by knowingness of the future, it remains an impenetrable veil of illusion that allows us to find meaning in our decisions. Only an omniscient being can fully recognize the experience of a determined existence.

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.

QM: That conclusion is unjustified. Much of QM is not understood, so this conclusion is drawn from ignorance.

Regarding near-death experiences, this is not definitive evidence of an afterlife for a few reasons; 1. it is "near"-death, not actual death. The person did not fully die (clinical death). 2. The human brain still functions during clinical death and can operate and form vivid memories. Testimonies based of memories are extremely questionable with knowledge of the fallibility of memory formation and preservation of integrity.

Regarding personal testimonies, the above remark about the fallibility of the human mind is relevant. People's memories literally change over time and in response to other experiences and desires. Anecdotal evidence isn't evidence.

Regarding drug use, how does that follow to the existence of a spirit realm? how is the event of altering one's brain chemistry and perception to induce hallucinations and abstract thought patterns indicative of the existence of a spiritual realm?

(10) We have reason to believe that we have the capacity for true beliefs even though we actually have no reason for that to be true.

Why would we not have a reason to hold our beliefs as true if all of our experiences indicate this to be true? I am experiencing typing this message right now and have differing methods of perception all indicating the same thing, so I believe this to be true.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect

Perfect/Imperfect is objectively incoherent, unless used as a adjective conjoined with an objective claim (i.e., this puzzle piece fits perfectly). Otherwise, perfect is about as useful as trying to say that there is an objectively best-tasting food.

(12) specified and complex information can be the product of mindless processes

I think I know where you want to go with this, so define "information".

(13) how something works is an explanation of why it exists

Don't base your conclusions on the casual interchangeability of these words. "How is the sky blue" will more than likely receive the same answer as "why is the sky blue" in any normal exchange.

(14) absence of evidence is evidence of absence

What's wrong with this? If God is claimed to interact with the world then there should be evidence of these interactions within the world, or else it could not be determined that he interacts with the world. So, God's absence should be refutable if he isn't. If he does not interact with the world, then he is absent from it (i.e., deism).

btw - I typed this quickly, so please forgive typos and grammatical errors.
Berend
Posts: 188
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12/4/2015 6:24:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/30/2015 2:28:47 AM, Benshapiro wrote:
(1) atheism, as a belief, can only be accepted arbitrarily because "truth" can only be subjectively valued.


it's not arbitrary if you actually follow the cause of people becoming atheist. There is also no arbitrary when a child grows up in an atheistic house. And truth is objective. Pseudo-truth, however, is relative...ish.

(2) there is actually no such thing as "right and wrong" or a "good" or "bad" person.


How is that a problem? I'd say it's more of a problem that a religion claims to know objectively so what is right and wrong, and demands you to follow it or else follow the the objectively immoral punishment it puts you through.

(3) everything is inherently purposeless. So while the brain or ozone layer appears to have a certain purpose, it actually has no purpose.


Nothing is inherently purposless. But, just to entertain that subscription of a notion you have, so what? It doesn't need a purpose. What purpose exist is what that individual has for it.

(4) reality is entirely illusory. Mentality arose from a prior non-mental state of affairs. We can only perceive or conceive of reality mentally. This means that we can never be aware of the non-mental state of affairs that preceded the reality we perceive and conceive of


(5) it ultimately makes 0 difference how you live your life because (1) you don't exist for any reason and (2) all memories, experiences, and progress will be destroyed in the eminent heat death of the universe.


If you killed Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein as babies, ti would drastically alter reality, and would arguably been the change that prevents humans from making massive changes to the universe. As long as humans exist, the knowledge and metaphysical things you leave behind is what's important.

Christopher Hitchens is dead, but his logic, his view of religion remains alive.

(6) ideals like intellect, virtuosity, power, etc., are actually no better than ignorance, immorality, weakness, etc.


I don't follow what you're trying to imply.

(7) our beginnings are inexplicable. The only means for action by way of physical process is inherent probability. Inherent probability is a function of trials over time. Given an infinite amount of time any probability above 0 will inevitably occur. Once this an inevitable action occurs, we can count backwards the number of trials that led to the action meaning that it is quantitative. If something has a quantitative beginning it can't be eternal. This means that something eternal must exist but it can't be something physical.


Yea, no.

(8) We don't have free will (free will in the sense that we could've done otherwise) because ultimately everything is determined by physics


No, actually it's not. Physics can not determine everything. If you didn't know already, we can not accurately predict everything at the quantum level.

(9) interpretations of quantum mechanics showing that a sentient observer is necessary to construct reality , testimonies of an afterlife in near death experiences, testimonies of psychedelic drug use purporting to experience a spiritual realm, global religious experiences, out of body experiences, etc. must all be illusory.


Lol, no it does not.

(11) the world is not actually imperfect


By who's standard is it not imperfect? Yours? It's perfection or imperfection is entirely relative.